English 1010 11 November 2012 Genetically Modified Food Genetically modified foods (GMF) have foreign genes such as plants, animals and bacteria inserted into their genetic codes. Genetically modified organism is processed in a way that does not occur naturally. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology. There are alternative names for genetically modified foods, such as “genetically engineered,” “biotechnology,” “genetic modification,” or “transgenic. Genetically modified organisms allows scientist to speed up the process by moving desired genes from one plant into another, sometimes from an animal to a plant, for example they take a genetic material from a number of different sources from virus and bacteria and they insert it into the soybean plant, which herbicide usually kills the plant but because of the genetic modified organism it does not. Genetic modified food is dangerous because it greatly expands the scope for horizontal gene transfer and recombination; this process creates new viruses and bacteria that cause disease, epidemics, and trigger cancerous cells.
Genetically modified foods are dangerous because it can cause harmful effects on human health (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies”). Many foods in the United States contain genetically modified organism, such as corn, soy, sugar and aspartame. In most of the foods we eat today contain those ingredients and most people do not even realize that they are eating genetically modified food because labeling the food is not mandatory in most of the United States.
Related article: Food Safety
However Europe is protesting against genetically modified foods since they were first created. Studies in Europe say “The science of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another was supposed to be a giant leap forward, but instead they pose a serious threat to biodiversity and our own health” (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies,”). UK says “The simple truth is, we do not need genetically modified technology in order to possess future food security.
Using sustainable and organic farming methods will allow us to repair the damage done by industrial farming, reducing the excessive use of fertilizer, herbicides and other man-made chemicals, and making genetically modified crops redundant” (“Genetically Engineered Crops”). The United States does not realize that it is bad for you but Europe, UK, Japan, and Australia bans all genetically modified foods for their safety and health. In the United States the FDA does not require any safety test for genetically modified foods because they know majority of people will not buy genetically modified foods.
European has been the most concerned with genetically modified foods, everyone one should be concerned about these important factors (Gardner). Genetically modified food has many dangerous effects on the world, for instance genetically modified foods actually lose nutritional content in the process of altering their genetic genes. Some genetically modified foods may contain higher levels of allergens and toxins, which can have negative outlook on the personal health of those who eat genetic foods.
Viruses and bacteria are used in the process of modifying foods, which means that there is a possibility that they could cause the development of a new disease. Also genetically modified foods could potentially cause damage to other organisms in the ecosystems where they are grown. If these organisms are killed off, it leads to a loss of biodiversity in the environment (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies,”).
Animals and people have become seriously ill or died from genetically modified foods because bacteria have been inserted into our food and our bodies cannot fight off these diseases. Even our environment has been damaged because gene pollution cannot be cleaned up, once genetically modified organisms, such as bacteria and viruses are released into the air it is difficult to recall or contain them. Toxins have also been the cause of killing people and animals by one or more extremely poisonous substances that unexpectedly appeared in this food supplement. Single genes should not be transferred to a foreign nvironment; their effects are unknown and therefore cause unknown harmful effects to the human health: “The reason that genetically engineered food could be dangerous is because there has been no adequate testing to ensure that extracting genes that perform an apparently useful function as part of that plant or animal is going to have the same effects if inserted into a totally unrelated species. A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment.
Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. As for environmental impacts, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material” (“Genetically Engineered Crops”).
Monsanto is an agricultural company that first produced genetically modified foods. Monsanto is not worried about health of others; there main concern is the business. They hear of many lives being in danger from genetically modified food but they are not concerned with this because they are making money. There is no long-term safety testing for genetically modified food. Genetic engineering uses material from organisms that have never been part of the human food supply to change the fundamental nature of the food we eat.
Without long-term testing no one knows if these foods are safe. . They say, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans” (Wilcox). Genetically modified foods are bad for everyone because it can cause harm to humans, animals and the environment. Genetically modified food should be tested, and labeled so humans have the choice to purchase the food items or keep away from them.
The main reason the United States has not banned genetically modified food is simply because most people do not even know what foods contain these harmful ingredients. If the FDA made a law that genetically modified foods are to be labeled many families would chose not to eat those foods because of the dangers it causes to the world. Work Cited Wilcox, Christine. “The very real dangers of genetically modified foods. ”. The Atlantic, 9 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Genetically Engineered Crops. Center for food safety, 5 2012.
Web. 12 Nov 2012. “Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms. ” What are Genetically Modified (GM) FoodsGM Products: Benefits and Controversies. U. S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, 17 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Gardner, Richard. “Pros and Cons of GM Foods. ” Arguments for GM Foods, Arguments Against GM Foods. N. p. , 30 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Villano, Caren. “Genetically Modified Foods. ” What are genetically modified foods, Advantages, Types of genetically modified crops. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12